April 2013

In This Issue...

Greetings from the Director

  • Renewing Our Commitment to Health & the Environment

National News

  • Senator Cardin to Speak at ECG Summit April 27
  • Adventure Cycling Magazine Features the ECG
  • Just Published: Spring / Summer Print Newsletter

Spotlight

  • Membership - the Foundation of Our Success

ECG In the News

  • Great Newspaper Articles and More

Regional News: New England (ME, NH, MA, RI, CT)

  • ME Active Communities Conference
  • Simsbury Bike Sculpture Unveiling Event May 6
  • Upcoming Events in New England

Regional News: Mid Atlantic (NY, NJ, PA, DE, MD, DC)

  • ECG Route Fully Signed in Baltimore
  • MD/DC Guides Now Available!
  • Walkable Bikeable Delaware Conference

Regional News: South Atlantic (VA, NC, SC)

  • Neuse River Greenway Dedication April 25
  • ATT I-40 Bridge to be Placed April 28

Regional News: Southeast (GA, FL)

  • Trail Coming to Delray Beach
  • Cyclist Sprints from FL to ME for Kids




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Greetings from ECGA Executive Director, Dennis Markatos-Soriano

Renewing Our Commitment to Health & the Environment

Dear East Coast Greenway teammates,

As flowers and forests renew their lively spring displays here in the Northern Hemisphere, we get back into full swing with bike rides, walks, and fun programming throughout the greenway corridor. This week, significant focus is on trail progress in the Triangle of North Carolina and our Spring Summit in Baltimore featuring inspiring talks by US Senator Ben Cardin and other key leaders from the local to the national level. We will renew our commitment to eastern communities by building our greenway's momentum together!

It's also dues-paying membership renewal season. If you receive a letter from us in the next couple weeks, please consider replying to it with a gift that will help us continue to make great trail progress and produce top-notch events and trail guides for the ECG. If you haven't yet given to the cause, please renew your commitment to health, safety, and the environment by joining the East Coast Greenway Alliance. Every gift counts and gives you the right to brag to future generations that, "I helped build that American treasure, the East Coast Greenway, that tens of millions of people enjoy every year!"

Thank you. Together, we are building a prosperous future,

Dennis Markatos-Soriano

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National ECGA News
U.S. Senator Cardin of MD to Speak at ECG State of the Greenway Summit in Baltimore - April 27

We hope you can make our State of the Greenway Summit on Saturday, April 27, at the World Trade Center in Baltimore! (401 E. Pratt Street.)

Among the many exciting speakers and trail updates, Maryland's Senator Benjamin Cardin will be our special guest speaker! The Senator will address the group at 1:30 PM.

Leaders from the State of Maryland, Baltimore City government, and other local and regional organizations will present in the morning, followed by Keynote Speaker Andy Clarke, President of the League of American Bicyclists. Our Trail Council meeting will begin at 3 PM. It will be an inspiring day!

You can see a full agenda here (exact times may change slightly). Please RSVP to debbie@greenway.org if you wish to attend the meeting - all guests must be on an attendee list and bring valid ID to enter the facility.

Before the meetings, on Friday, April 26, we'll host several activities including a walk and a happy hour reception. We hope you can join us!

Our Maryland State Committee Chair, Greg Hinchliffe, is leading a 15-mile, free, guided bike ride from 2-3:45 PM starting and ending at the Quality Inn, and a walk from 4-5 PM, starting at the Quality Inn and ending at the reception site. (You can rent bikes at a local bike shop - Light Street Cycles.)

Our Friday evening reception will be at the Mad River Bar & Grill (madriverbaltimore.com) at 1110 S. Charles St. from 5-6 PM. We'll enjoy appetizers and celebrate the unveiling of our new Maryland/DC ECG guidebook!

Later that evening a local bike group, Bikemore is holding their monthly "bike party" and this month's theme is Bike Prom. Bring your "fancy" attire and prepare to have fun! Read more here about the event.

Please see our blog for more information about the events. We look forward to seeing you in Baltimore!

Adventure Cycling Magazine Features ECG

We are thrilled to have an article about the ECG in the most recent Adventure Cyclist Magazine! (Download the article here.) Karen Votava, an ECGA co-founder and our first Executive Director, wrote the article about a trip she and her husband took on the ECG last year. The Votavas traveled by train from Brooklyn, New York, to Wilmington, Delaware, and biked the ECG back to Brooklyn. The article describes the highlights of their week-long journey. Thank you, Karen, for sharing your adventures on the ECG, and thank you Adventure Cycling for publishing it - you are inspiring all of us to get out and explore!

Adventure Cycling

Just Published: Spring/Summer Newsletter

We recently sent out our Spring/Summer print newsletter, which features articles about our recent trail designations, new guidebooks, upcoming meetings, and more! Download it here, or email debbie@greenway.org if you'd like a copy mailed to you!

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ECG In the News

Around the Triangle (Audio Interview) Neuse River Trail Opening in Raleigh, NC

BMoreBikes: ECG Signs Posted throughout Baltimore

WRAL.com, Raleigh, NC: Suspension Bridge on Neuse River Trail

Bucks Local News: ECGA Proposes Changes to Bike Path to Better Highlight Bristol, PA

Daily News, NY: Bronx River ECG Progress Brewing

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ECG Spotlight - Membership
ECGA Membership - the Foundation of our Success

In the next few weeks, if you are an ECGA member who renewed in the first half of last year, you'll receive a renewal mailing from us in your mailboxes. Your membership is vital to our organization! Since we all get requests from many non-profit groups throughout the year, we truly appreciate your support of the East Coast Greenway.

When the East Coast Greenway was first envisioned in 1991, our founders wanted the organization advocating for the ECG to be membership-based. This allows for a broad base of support from many individuals and organizations who are invested in the ECG's development and creation. As a member, YOU are part of the Alliance in the East Coast Greenway Alliance!

Membership not only provides funds to support our trail progress, but it provides important leverage for trail development. When our staff can say "We have 1,000 members in your area who support greenway development," it carries a lot of weight with agencies and officials.

ECG map

Our 2,900-mile project is managed in regions: New England (ME, NH, MA, RI, CT), Mid-Atlantic (NY, NJ, PA, DE, MD, DC), South Atlantic (VA, NC, SC), and Southeast (GA, FL). When a member joins, renews, or donates, the funds are focused on supporting trail development and activities in their region. (When people outside of our regions join or donate, their contributions support the ECG system-wide.)

The number of members directly impacts the amount of work we are able to do. While major contributions and grants we receive may be restricted to particular projects or states, membership income is vital as it is invested where there is the most need.

As of the end of 2012, we had about 2,200 current members. Our membership is highest in the Mid-Atlantic and New England regions, where our project has been established the longest and there is a higher population density. (If you are in our South Atlantic and Southeast regions, we need your support to help the ECG grow in your area!) To see more of our trail details and how they overlap with membership numbers, please see our 2012 State of the Trail Report.

If you aren't already a member, we invite you to join the Alliance! If you are a member, please renew when you get your packet in the mail, or renew online at our website! We are making great progress, and the ECG needs each of us to make it the strongest project it can be. Whatever amount you are able to give, please know that it's truly appreciated and will be well-utilized to support trail development, signage, and programs in your region.


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Please join our renew your membership today to help the ECG grow!

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Regional News: New England
Active Communities Conference, May 7 in ME

Trail enthusiasts in Maine: Don't miss the 2013 Active Communities Conference, May 7 in Waterville, ME! This dynamic conference will connect professionals in transportation, public health, planning, recreation, and the public, coming together to make our communities more active and healthier places. You will enjoy learning from successful trail projects, learning about new techniques, and networking with others interested in trail issues.

See the event flier, and read more and register here: http://healthymainepartnerships.org/panp/training.aspx

Simsbury Bike Sculpture Event, May 6th

Our friends in Simsbury, CT, placed a beautiful, locally-crafted bike sculpture adjacent to the ECG last year. Over $10,000 was raised to fund the sculpture and landscaping. On May 6th, Mary Glassman, Simsbury First Selectman (Mayor) and ECG Advisory Board member, will join others at an event to unveil new landscaping and a donor plaque. This will be a great event in Simsbury, the first bicycle-friendly community in Connecticut. Read more about the sculpture and the event here.

Simsbury bike sculpture

Great Events in New England

We hope you can attend some of these interesting upcoming events in New England. Read more and register at the links below.

Connecticut Bike-Walk Summit, Saturday April 27, New Haven CT
http://www.bikewalkct.org/summit-2013.html

2013 Massachusetts Trails Conference, Saturday May 4, Devens, MA
http://www.mass.gov/dcr/stewardship/greenway/calendar.htm

Bikefest RI, Saturday May 11, Providence RI
http://bikefestri.com/

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Regional News: Mid Atlantic
Baltimore, MD, ECG Route Now Fully Signed

Our Mid-Atlantic staff and key Maryland volunteers have worked hard to get ECG signs placed on our route in Baltimore! With our national meetings coming up this weekend, plenty of ECG folks will be able to enjoy the newly-signed route.

Getting signs on our route involves a lot of people, and the process can take a while. Our regional staff member works with county or city personnel to establish where and how signs can be placed, by whom, and how the signs will be maintained in the future. This often requires a contract or signage plan, and coordination with city or county public works and maintenance staff. Once the logistics are in place, volunteers often help place the signs.

In Baltimore, signing the 17-mile route took three days, and lots of volunteer time. Thank you for all your hard work, Andy Hamilton (our Mid-Atlantic Coordinator), Greg Hinchliffe (our MD State Committee Chair), and Nate Evans (Baltimore Bike Ped Planner)!

signing the ECG in Baltimore
Greg Hinchliffe placing ECG signs in Baltimore, MD

Maryland/DC Guidebooks Now Available!

We have a new guidebook available for Maryland/DC! With a grant from the Maryland State Highway Administration, we created the East Coast Greenway Maryland and the District of Columbia: A Guide to Bicycling and Walking. This handy guide is spiral bound with a laminated cover, perfect for using on the trail. It features maps of the route, detailed cue sheets (turn-by-turn directions), alternate and linking routes, and information on services, points of interest, and other useful information.

Maryland DC guide

This guide will be available at some trail visitor centers and bike shops in Maryland, or you can order from our website. And we'll have plenty to hand out at our Spring meetings this weekend in Baltimore! You can order a copy of the guide here (or download it for free). The cost for a hardcopy is $5 per guide for shipping and handling.

Thank you to our excellent trail staff, state agency partners, local planning agencies, cartographers and designers, and all the wonderful volunteers who worked hard to create this guide!

Walkable Bikeable Delaware Summit, May 1

Want to help make Delaware more bicycle and pedestrian-friendly? Attend the Walkable Bikeable Delaware 2013 Summit on May 1, 9 AM to 5 PM in Dover! Read more and register at: http://www.bikede.org/2013/04/11/take-off-work-for-this/

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Regional News: South Atlantic
Neuse River Greenway Dedication, Raleigh NC, April 25th

This Thursday, join us in celebrating the completion of the beautiful Neuse River Trail! The dedication will be held from 5 - 7 PM at Anderson Point Park, 20 Anderson Drive, Raleigh, NC. Read more about the event here.

This new trail connects the Raleigh greenway system to Clayton, NC, and about half of it is East Coast Greenway route. Read more about the Neuse River Greenway project here.

Listen to an interesting interview about the Neuse River Greenway Project with the City of Raleigh's Greenway Planner, Vic Lebsock, and the ECG's State Committee Chair, Iona Thomas. (ECG highlights at 12:30 and 17:45.)

Earlier this month the Town of Clayton celebrated the opening of the Neuse River Greenway section in Clayton, NC! The Neuse River Greenway is a treasure for the communities in this area.

Neuse River Greenway Opening
Neuse River Trail Dedication, April 5th, Clayton, NC. Photo by Danna Widmar.

ATT I-40 Bridge Placement This Weekend, Durham NC

We are so excited that the American Tobacco Trail's new bridge has arrived and will soon be placed over I-40! (The new bridge is just steps from our office in Durham, NC!) We are hosting an event this Saturday night, 4/28, from 10 PM to the wee hours of the morning so people can watch the bridge being placed over I-40. RSVP to debbie@greenway.org for details if you wish to attend.

Bridge over I-40

The ATT bridge being pre-assembled on the shoulder of I-40, Durham, NC. The bridge is about 100 yards from our office.

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Regional News: Southeast
Trails Coming Soon to Delray Beach

Florida ECG State Committee Member Bret Baronak (Palm Beach County Bicycle, Greenways and Pedestrian Coordinator) has begun work with Delray Beach interests to incorporate a multi-use path as part of an ambitious beachfront master plan along the East Coast Greenway route. The two-mile-long section could be in place as soon as 2016. Bret says that the new path will be part of a plan to provide improved safety and mobility along Atlantic Avenue in one of Florida’s most appealing small downtowns.

Biking 2,000 Miles on the ECG in Three Weeks for Kids

Jason Rogers, 44, a Waycross, Georgia corrections officer, began a three-week bike sprint April 14 from Key West to Lubec, Maine to raise money for kids. He will ride more than 2,000 miles to raise $30,000 for YMCA Camp Reveille in Waycross.

His ride north from the Southernmost Point on the U.S. mainland will include parts of the East Coast Greenway. A team of three will accompany Rogers, including the driver of a 40-foot RV (carrying Rogers' back-up bike) and two support staff.

Two years ago, Rogers made his first trans-American sprint across 2,725 miles in 24 days between San Diego and St. Simons Island, Georgia. He raised some $14,000 for the Wounded Warriors Project in Jacksonville. Rogers served seven years in the Air Force in both Iraq wars. 

Read more, see how to donate, and follow his progress at www.bikingforthekids.com .

Jason Rogers Key West

Jason Rogers in Key West, FL

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ECG News Online is a publication of the East Coast Greenway Alliance, a national not-for-profit membership organization dedicated to promoting the establishment, preservation, sound management, and safe use and enjoyment of the East Coast Greenway, a 3000-mile, continuous route linking seaboard cities and towns from Maine to Florida. It aims to be 100% traffic-free.

Support the Greenway by becoming a member of the ECGA or donating today.

Comments? Suggestions? News? Contact the ECGA at info@greenway.org.

Learn more about the East Coast Greenway by visiting our website, or call us at (919) 797-0619.


Copyright 2013 East Coast Greenway Alliance